Padres Prospect Interview: John Hussey

Eugene, OR-- John Hussey was on the upswing after a terrific 2006 season but he was asked to rise to the challenge of the Midwest League this season and suffered through a confidence meltdown. He has been looking to get that back since coming to Eugene.

Talk to me about the start of the year and your experience in Fort Wayne. It seemed like you lost a little bit of confidence along the way. What were you feeling at that time?

John Hussey: My biggest problem was when I went up to Fort Wayne having skipped a level I felt as though I had to boost up my performance to perform there. I tried perhaps to do too much. Therefore, I lost confidence in what I was doing and felt like I couldn't throw a strike. It was very much a mental thing for me up there. I lost a lot of confidence.

That is one of the biggest things I learned this year – if you get moved up it is not because you have to do anything different. You get moved up for what you are doing at the time. You don't have to do anything different or try any harder. I learned a lot from that.

How difficult was that time when you came back down to extended before ending up in Eugene?

John Hussey: It wasn't too bad. I came to Eugene straight from Fort Wayne and they left me up there for a while. I know I deserved to come back to Eugene. I wasn't performing up there. It was difficult but at the same time I understood the move. I know I have to work on some things and I wasn't proving I could stay up there. Hopefully I can prove I can stay here at least.

You came here and have had some success but have also had some outings where it has been more difficult. What is working for you?

John Hussey: For me my curveball has come along. I didn't have it in Fort Wayne and had absolutely no confidence in it. I am throwing it better now and am striking out more because I have control of it and it is breaking pretty well.

I have been throwing the ball all right and have been throwing strikes, for the most part. I have a lot of my confidence back.

There was one outing where I felt like a deer in the headlights. Sometimes it comes creeping back in. At the moment I am feeling good and can only get better.

The game I saw you pitch in you went to the curveball a little bit late in the outing rather than going to it early when it was the pitch that was performing for you.

John Hussey: Exactly. That is a learning thing at the moment. I am still trying to get that fastball over and it doesn't click for me that I can get this thing over – throw it! It is part of the learning curve. Mistakes like that – hopefully I don't make down the road.

How have you grown from last year to this year? What have you seen from yourself?

John Hussey: I learned that I don't have to try and strike everyone out. You have a team behind you. My first year over here I thought I had to really, really prove that I can dominate everyone in the league. It is not about that.

The organization says, ‘pitch to contact.' I am trying to do that. You have eight players behind you. Try and battle with the other guys. Don't make it a one-on-one deal. That is also one of the biggest things I have learned, perhaps the last few months especially.

What are your expectations down the stretch here?

John Hussey: I am trying to do what I can. Statistics-wise doesn't bother me. Of course I would like to have good ones, but as long as I am learning about myself and what I can do - how to get the opposition out, working on my changeup, throwing strikes and learning how to pitch instead of throw the ball.

Everyone seems to confide a lot in Dave Rajsich – the pitching coach in Peoria. While the other pitching coaches are great as well, Razor has been the introduction for many into the system. How difficult is it to branch off on your own and get on the same page with another coach?

John Hussey: Razor worked a lot with me and I felt that things really clicked when I was with him. TB (Tom Bradley) is good as well and is helping me at the moment. When I came down here I threw a couple of pens and he put me right back on track. It is really taking about what I learned from Razor and applying it and taking a little of what I learn from TB and Wally or whoever it may be and making it work for me. Of course I am going to take a lot from Razor because he taught me a lot and TB teaches me a lot as well. Pick what works for you. You can take a little bit from everyone.

How much do you throw out?

John Hussey: It is about 50-50. I give it a good shot but some things just don't work for some pitchers. Everyone is different. I would say 50-50 I take on board.

Talk about John Hussey on our subscriber-only message boards, the only place to find up to the minute roster moves on the entire minor leagues as they happen.

MadFriars Top Stories